Important information has come to the fore through the data provided by the NCRB regarding the arrests made in connection with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

UAPA i.e. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act: The Times of India newspaper reported that only 2% of the people arrested under this law in five years until 2019 were convicted. This information is based on the data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Of the 7,840 people arrested on counts of terrorism, only 155 were convicted by the trial court.

Three Students Granted Bail By Court

Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal, who were arrested during the Delhi riots, were granted bail by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. The court said that there is no case against these three prima facie under the UAPA. A day later, the Delhi Police challenged this decision in the Supreme Court.

 NCRB Data Reveals These Figures

According to the NCRB, 17 cases were registered under the UAPA in Delhi between 2015 and 2019. The Delhi Police had provided the names of 41 suspects. Delhi Police said in a statement that 763 FIRs were registered in the 2020 riots, including 51 cases under the Arms Act.  3,300 suspects were also included in these cases. Many of them got bail from the Delhi High Court and the trial court.

In March 2021, the High Court had ordered the release of Liaquat Ali, Arshad Qayyum alias Monu, Gulfam alias VIP, and Irshad Ahmed. Earlier, the court had granted bail to Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar on humanitarian grounds.

The State Figures Are Also Similar

The NCRB’s compilation includes data on cases in states and union territories, according to which 1,948 people were arrested under the UAPA in 2019, out of which only 34 were convicted.

In 2019, 386 people were arrested under the UAPA in Manipur under a record 306 cases, while in UP, 498 suspects were arrested and cases were registered against 81 of them. Commenting on this, a Home Ministry official said, “The decision of punishment in UAPA cases is the result of the larger judicial system. There are many factors for such decisions, including the duration of the trial, the production of evidence, and the testimony.”

Law Has Been Amended Multiple Times

The law on the prevention of unlawful activities was put in action in 1967 and has been amended in 2008, 2012, and 2019. After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the ‘Terror Act’ was extended to include economic security, counterfeiting of Indian currency, and the purchase of arms. Under this law, the court was also given additional power to attach property.